Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are expected to square off in court next month in their bitter custody battle, where they could air their most detailed and ugly grievances against each other.
But Pitt, 54, has reached out to his estranged wife, 43, asking her to settle, an insider told Us Weekly. He wants to spare their six children the potential psychological trauma of a court hearing.
“He reached out hoping to persuade Angie that the hearing will cause lasting psychological damage to their children,” the insider told Us Weekly. “There will be no winners, no matter what the judge decides.”
Pitt and Jolie split in 2016 after two years of marriage and a decade of glamorous, high-profile moviemaking and globe-trotting humanitarian work. Together they are parents of Maddox, 17, Pax, 14, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 12, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 10.
A source close to Jolie insisted to Us Weekly that both parties are “working together to reach a settlement outside of court.” On the other hand, the insider said, Jolie is determined to not “back down.”
In a preview of how ugly the hearing could get, accusations have flown back and forth over the past few months. Jolie has accused Pitt of being something of a deadbeat dad because her lawyers don’t think he’s paying enough in child support. He’s also had to recover from allegations that he was verbally abusive and had a drinking problem. Meanwhile, Pitt has accused his estranged wife of trying to drive a wedge between him and his children.
The judge agreed that Jolie needs to do better at encouraging Pitt’s relationship with their children. In fact, he gave Jolie a dressing-down in June, saying she risked losing custody if things didn’t approve. The judge followed up with a strict schedule for when Pitt could regularly visit the children when they were living with Jolie in London, and for when he could see them once they returned to Los Angeles. He also told Jolie that she couldn’t limit Pitt’s phone and text access to the children.
If the custody trial takes place, it could last two to three weeks, according to reports. The Blast reported last month that the court had appointed Dr. Stan Katz, a well-known clinical psychologist, to interview Jolie and Pitt, the children and others to determine the best interests of the children. The judge will use Katz’s evaluation to work out a permanent custody order, The Blast said.